Loving Our Neighbors, Telling the Truth about Identity and Gender

James calls followers of Christ to be, “gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Silence might be easier…however, we must take the posture of engaging the issues—not avoiding them—and especially of engaging people with truth and love as Christ did. 

The questions we receive more than all others have to do with how best to respond to friends, family members, and neighbors who struggle with gender dysphoria. The rational case for humans as either male or female is strong, as are arguments from history, biology, law, and theology. However, arguments that would’ve been considered obvious not that long ago often seem to go nowhere with someone desperately reaching for answers or affirmation. 

The number of Americans who report personally knowing someone who struggles with gender dysphoria now approaches 50%. Thus, Christians should be prepared, as best as we can, for these scenarios which we are now more likely to encounter than not. When unprepared, too many Christians simply go quiet, and in the process, go along with transgender ideology—not because they believe it but because rocking the boat seems too risky. Rather than truly loving our neighbors, something admittedly difficult, we instead choose the easier path of not offending and only affirming. We then name that path “love,” but it’s neither loving nor true.  

The story of Holy Scripture, in each of its four chapters, contextualizes what is true about every person, including the created reality of sexual distinction. First, that God created and values our bodies, which are made male and female for His purposes. Second, the Fall, while validating the pain and discomfort that many people feel within their own bodies, dispels the idea that what we feel should be accepted as true. In fact, it may be false, confused, and harmful.  Third, that Christ is making all things new through His life, obedience, death, and resurrection, all of which came by God Himself taking on a human body. Fourth, one day the pain of dysphoria will be fully healed when our faith becomes sight. 

The topic of transgenderism requires, first and foremost, theological clarity. Children must hear, over and over, God’s design for sexuality and the body articulated. If they haven’t heard it, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn how many struggle in silence.   

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